CAMDEN, N.J. – Daniela Lamas, MD, author of You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and in Between, today discussed her innovative approach to caring for patients who are struggling to cope with the challenges of life with a chronic illness. She was the featured speaker for the Sixth Annual Berkowitz Family Foundation Lecture Program.
“As a critical care doctor treating people at their sickest, I always wonder what comes after for these patients,” Lamas told the audience. “What I learned in writing this book is that the way people adapt to their situations is different from person-to-person, and as physicians we need to recognize that there is a difficult choice for patients between doing what is medically necessary and still being able to enjoy their quality of life.”
Lamas is a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and faculty at Harvard Medical School. Following graduation from Harvard College, she went on to earn her MD at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, where she also completed her internship and residency. She then returned to Boston for her subspecialty fellowship.
She has worked as a medical reporter at the Miami Herald and is frequently published in the New York Times. In her new book, released earlier this year, Lamas investigates what it really means to be saved by modern medicine as she shares intimate accounts of patients, their families, and the situations they face.
“By sharing these stories from the front lines of critical care medicine, Dr. Lamas offers us an unflinching, deeply personal look at how physicians routinely change patients’ lives,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation. “Dr. Lamas’ stories are heart-wrenching, true life accounts of second chances.”
The Berkowitz Family Foundation Lecture Program is presented by The Cooper Foundation, Cooper University Health Care and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and funded by The Berkowitz Family Foundation.
“The Berkowitz Family Foundation Lecture Program is a valuable resource for our medical students, as well as our faculty,” said Annette Reboli, MD, Dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. “We are honored to welcome Dr. Lamas and are appreciative of her insights in how to provide compassionate, patient-centered care to critically ill patients.”
A successful businessman and philanthropic leader in the Delaware Valley, Edwin Berkowitz passed away in January 2016 from cancer. He was the Chairman of the Board of JE Berkowitz, LP Architectural Glass, founded by his father in 1920 in Philadelphia and now run by his son Arthur.
Berkowitz was committed to the local community. He was the driving force behind the funding and the construction of the Hillel House at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as President of the Uptown Home for the Aged, President of the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors, and was the past president of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
As a patient, Berkowitz observed the importance of ethical behavior and empathy by health care professionals. He was passionate when discussing the role of medical ethics in every day care and the ethical considerations in the development of unique treatments and medical technology. He also had an interest in new “personalized medicine” cancer treatment programs that identify genetic changes within the tumor itself.
“My father would have enjoyed reading Dr. Lamas’ book and hearing her speak today,” said Arthur. “He was very interested in the impact of modern medicine and technology on the quality of patients’ lives and the importance of humanizing care.”
About The Cooper Foundation
The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship, Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, N.J.
About The Berkowitz Family Foundation
The Berkowitz Family Foundation, located in Merion, Pa., was created to support a variety of philanthropic activities, locally and around the world, with a special interest in activities related to medical ethics, education and programs for seniors.
About Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
A partnership between Rowan University and The Cooper Health System, CMSRU enrolled its first students in summer 2012 in Camden, N.J. It was the first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years and the only four-year, MD-granting medical school in South Jersey. CMSRU is a proudly mission-driven school focused on developing highly skilled and socially conscious physician leaders who value a patient-centered, team approach to health care. Its innovative curriculum provides students with small-group, self-directed learning and early and continuous patient care experiences, beginning the third week of medical school.
CMSRU graduated its Charter Class and earned Full Accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education in 2016. Currently, 336 students are enrolled in the school. CMSRU will continue to gradually increase total enrollment to a maximum of 416 students.